It Was a Hot One: Patriot Half Marathon, Rockwall, TX – May 28, 2012

It sounded like a good idea back in November.

With the adrenaline still on overdrive from the Tulsa Marathon, and a $30 Groupon to the inaugural Patriot Half Marathon on Memorial Day in a nearby suburb, several of us were talked into signing up.

Somehow we forgot that it’s almost always hot on Memorial Day.

It was warm, but not as bad as it could have been. With a starting temp of 74 degrees and humidity hovering around 90%, and a finishing temp of 82,we got lucky. Clouds rolled in at the start and a cool breeze kept us company for most of the race. There was sun–a lot of it–and humidity, but it could have been a lot worse.

I ran with my friend, Heather, who has been injured for the past several months, and another friend, Stacy, who just started training for her first Ironman. This was the longest distance Heather had run in five months, and our only objective was to finish. We took a lot of walk breaks on the hills and stopped often for water and wet hand towels.

The race was small and it was a nice change to run in the countryside. I’m nowhere near the front of the pack when I usually race, but I have to admit it was a lot of fun being more towards the back. People talk more and look out for each other. The volunteers seem to be even more encouraging.

And in the end, everyone gets the same medal.

The course was fairly hilly, especially the second half, which seemed to be mostly uphill. The hills were long and gradual. Hari said it was worse than Tulsa, which is the hilliest course I’ve seen.

If I had been gunning for a PR, I can imagine the hills would have made me pretty grumpy.

Despite the heat and the hills, I had a blast running with Heather and Stacy. It was nice to run a race more like a long run, with the only expectation being to finish. Heather and Stacy both did a great job. I’m so lucky to have such great friends to run with.

Here are some random photos Michael took during the race. The complete collection can be found here.

Heather arriving at the race

The fast boys

Paul’s 1:50 pace group

Stacy, me, and Heather

Men’s Frontrunner

Hari at mile 11.5

Jose volunteering his time to pace

One more mile to the finish line . . .

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